Brexit transition 'should end by 2021', European Union negotiator Barnier says

Boris Johnson leaves the Cabinet Brexit committee meeting

Legislation meant to smooth Britain's exit from the European Union moves a step closer to becoming law on Wednesday, as ministers begin working out what they want from Brexit.

But for some European Union nationals - who have endured uncertainty over their rights since the Brexit vote in June 2016, not to mention an unpleasant feeling that many Britons do not want them around - May's December 8 deal is too little, too late.

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator said Wednesday that Britain should have less than two years as a transition period after it leaves the European Union and that the United Kingdom would have to live by all the key EU principles.

The central bank said it made the decision on the assumption that a "high degree of supervisory co-operation with the EU" would continue after Britain leaves the bloc.

The transition period would amount to three months less than what Britain initially sought but the date dovetails with the beginning of a new multiannual budget which would leave Britain totally out of it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had asked for the transition to last around two years.

But Barnier insisted that the negotiations must be concluded months before that, likely in the fall of next year.

The apparent concession marks an important move to reassure the City that it will be business as usual after Brexit and that the authorities intend to make it as easy as possible for foreign firms to operate, according to unnamed sources cited by the BBC.

She wants to negotiate a transition deal with Brussels by March to reassure businesses and then seal a long term trade deal by October.

Mr Barnier indicated he is hoping to reach an agreement on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and European Union by next October to coincide with a new treaty containing the terms of agreement on Britain's withdrawal and the transition.

However, the PM said the United Kingdom was in a unique position to do a quick deal as a current European Union member with trade arrangements already in line with Brussels.

He also revealed the Bank's plans are based on agreement being struck on a transition period by the end of the March next year.

Influential pro-Brexit lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed this demand as "rather hostile", leaving the United Kingdom "no more than a vassal state, a colony, a serf of the European Union".

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